Thursday, 10 January 2008

Smug-bastard cyclist

As I have said before I love bikes.. the sort that you pedal that is, not the ones with engines! I love all types; I have an old touring bike that I can't bring myself to get rid of. It sits on rollers in my attic for days when I feel compelled to ride a bike but can't get out the house! I have a steel framed mountain bike (the subject of an earlier blog, that was lovingly resprayed and returned to its retro state with the original steel forks..I still love riding it probably more than any other bike!) I have a full-suspension mountain-bike that I bought second hand from a friend and I have a lovely Bianci road bike that Ian built up for me. I also have a Brompton folding bike that I used to commute to work on when I worked in London. Now I did this 10 years ago for a good 5 years; before low emission zones, cycle routes and before the congestion charge. I felt like an urban warrior shouting at inconsiderate drivers and trying to stay upright and alive. Cycling was 'fringe' and owning a Brompton was even more weird! I was definitely considered eccentric at the very least and mostly thought of as quite mad! Now I could get more for my Brompton second hand that I paid for it new, it would be stolen instantly if I took my eyes off it for a second and there are more cyclists in Central London at times than cars..in fact there is even 'cycling congestion'in some places. Cycling to work is mainstream government policy and most companies pay an allowance to those who use their bicycles for business travel. God, how things change! I can remember having an argument with a particularly obnoxious woman from personnel (now called human resources!) who told me that I certainly couldn't claim for using my bike as it involved no cost to me!

See.. I was a trend setter not a weirdo!

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